• What to Do on a Summer Trip to Japan?

    Summer in Japan is hot and humid, but it is also the season of festivals and you’ll find no lack of activities and Japanese restaurants to enjoy throughout the summer.

    Check Out Summer Festivals

    Summers in Japan bring festivals that celebrate religious holidays, dance, physical competitions, and fireworks. Beginning in July, the Gion Matsuri Festival of Kyoto is a highly elaborate festival that continues through the month and features parades, dance and music performances, comedy plays, and art and culture exhibits. The Kanto Festival in Akita begins in early August and features the pole lantern festival, a spectacular display with the purpose of banishing evil spirits before the beginning of the harvest season.

    View Fireworks in Yukata

    Throughout the summer, fireworks events are held all over Japan. Be sure to attend at least one of these beautiful shows that often feature music as well. To enjoy the atmosphere even more, stop by a professional rental yukata shop to get outfitted in a colorful yukata, a type of traditional Japanese clothing that’s a casual version of the Kimono.

    Sample Food Stands

    Japan is well-known for its street food, which you’ll find at any of the thousands of events and festivals held all over the country during the summer. A few of the Japanese food stands you’ll see include yaki-imo (roasted sweet potato), okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancakes), and onsen tamago (eggs cooked in hot springs). Cool off with a chilly dessert of kakigori (shaved ice) flavored with sweet syrups and sometimes topped with sweet beans, fruit, or ice cream.

    Enjoy a Beer Garden

    Japan’s beer gardens open their doors from late May until early September. These venues often feature all-you-can-eat-and-drink menus that include beer, food, and barbeque. Besides boundless food and drink, you can expect to enjoy a great view because beer gardens are typically located in parks or on building rooftops.

    If you’re looking for a taste of Japan, House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that offers a wide variety of Japanese dining options and teppanyaki in San Jose. To learn more about our restaurant or to make a reservation, call us today at (408) 453-8120.

  • A Guide to Popular Japanese Cooking Sauces

    Japanese food can be healthy and delicious, and it is made using a broad variety of cooking sauces. To have a better understanding of the various sauces used in Japanese cuisine, read this guide before your next visit to a Japanese restaurant.

    Soy Sauce

    This Japanese culinary essential is used not only as a cooking ingredient but for marinating and dipping as well. The most popular type of soy sauce in Japan is dark soy sauce, which is not too salty and has a rich flavor. Also popular, light soy sauce is slightly sweeter than the dark variety, and is also saltier, giving it a more intense flavor which makes it ideal for cooking. If you find these soy sauces to be overpowering in flavor, shiro soy sauce offers a good alternative due to its mild flavor. Shiro is made using more wheat, which is why it has a light golden color. For people who prefer to avoid gluten, tamari soy sauce is made using little to no wheat and provides strong flavor.

    Mirin

    An ingredient that is called for in many Japanese recipes, Mirin is a type of rice wine that is sweeter and has less alcohol than sake. This sauce is light in color, has a slightly syrupy consistency, and its low alcohol content usually burns off with cooking. Mirin is one of the main ingredients in traditional teriyaki sauce and is commonly added to soups.

    Ponzu

    A pantry staple for anyone who loves cooking Japanese dishes, ponzu is a citrus-based sauce that is often used as a marinade or is added to soy sauce. Ponzu is made using rice wine, rice vinegar, seaweed, and bonito (fish flakes). This sauce pairs nicely with seafood, meats, and vegetables, and has a unique flavor profile that ranges from sweet and sour to bitter and salty all at once.

    House of Genji Japanese Steakhouse offers unique and delicious Japanese dining and hibachi grill cuisine in San Jose. To make your reservation, contact us at (408) 453-8120.

  • Hibachi Cooking Explained

    In traditional Japanese dining, the hibachi is actually used as a heating device. It can be a small, portable container, possibly round or box-shaped, with an open top to allow burning charcoal through. In Japanese restaurants, though, you might hear “hibachi-style” as another term for teppanyaki cooking.

    Hibachi cooking, whether at home or in a Japanese restaurant, is similar to barbecuing, though there are some slight differences. When using a hibachi grill at home, you can use it as a regular grill, just in a smaller and portable fashion. You fill the bottom with charcoal and, depending on your model, you can move the grill up a ladder of sorts to bring it closer or farther away from the flame.

    Teppanyaki cooking will often utilize the traditional hibachi. A flame will start under a large, flat surface where a trained teppanyaki chef will cook your meal and perform tricks in front of you.

    If you are looking for teppanyaki in San Jose, look no further than House of Genji. Come down to our cocktail lounge and relax with your friends. Call us at (408) 453-8120 to make a reservation.

  • See House of Genji Teppanyaki Chefs in Action

    If you have heard of teppanyaki, but have never seen it, you are in for a real treat at House of Genji. As you can see in this video, these teppanyaki chefs and wait staff provide their patrons with the complete Japanese dining experience.

    Once your chef comes out, he will start cooking eggs and frying rice for the table. He’ll continue on to the vegetables and meat to complete your dinner. Your chef will perform tricks, such as the volcano onion and flipping shrimps onto the plate or even into your mouth. Everything is cooked to perfection, and right in front of you for the ultimate dining adventure.

    Are you looking for exceptional Japanese food Call House of Genji, a Japanese steakhouse near San Jose, at (408) 453-8120 for your reservation.

  • How to Enjoy Your First Sashimi Meal

    When you take your family and friends out to the local Japanese restaurant, why not try something new and exciting Traditional Japanese food usually includes delectable pieces of sashimi—raw fish pieces without rice. Here are some easy ways to enjoy your sashimi.

    Be Adventurous

    Dining at your local Japanese restaurant should be an adventurous experience for the whole family. When you try out the various dishes—such as miso soup, green tea ice cream, and sashimi—don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone. Sashimi orders can offer a variety of raw fish to try. Tuna and salmon are the most common offerings because they smell and taste milder, compared to other sashimi orders. However, to really enjoy your sashimi meal, try out some of the other options, like mackerel or yellowtail. Sometimes, you can have fish eggs in place of sashimi; these little eggs, either from salmon or sea urchins, are considered delicacies in Japan and in the United States.

    Spice It Up

    If you have experienced Japanese dining before, you have probably noticed a small dollop of light green paste accompanying your meal. This is Japanese horseradish, traditionally called wasabi. Often, people will mix a very small amount of wasabi with their soy sauce because wasabi is very hot and spicy. When you receive your sashimi, feel free to dip it in your soy-wasabi mixture. Don’t soak the fish piece, though. You are there to appreciate the fish, not the wasabi or soy sauce.

    Use Proper Etiquette

    It is customary to use chopsticks to handle your sashimi. Typically, you won’t find a knife and fork at a Japanese restaurant. Using silverware can be misconstrued as an insult to the chef. By using silverware, you are saying the meat is too tough to use chopsticks, which is considered a big no-no in Japanese culture.

    Try House of Genji, your new favorite Japanese restaurant serving San Jose. We have many dishes and delicacies to satisfy any palate. Call us at (408) 453-8120 or visit us online to see our menu.

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